Aljamain Sterling, an American mixed martial artist, is currently the reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion. Sterling’s rise to the top has been a journey filled with challenges, determination, and a passion for the sport. Let’s delve into his life and career to understand how he made it to where he is today.
Early Life and Wrestling Career: Sterling was born in Uniondale, New York, in 1989, to Jamaican parents. Growing up with seven full siblings and at least 12 half-siblings, Sterling had a tough upbringing in a rough neighborhood with gang activities. To avoid getting caught up in it, he started wrestling at Uniondale High School in 2004. He continued wrestling at Morrisville State College, where he developed an interest in MMA, trained with Jon Jones, and eventually transferred to Cortland. There, he became a two-time NCAA Division III All-American with a record of 87-27, graduating with a degree in physical education.
MMA Career and Championship Wins:
After graduation, Sterling pursued a career in MMA, debuting professionally in 2011. He competed for Cage Fury Fighting Championship, where he became the Bantamweight Champion, and eventually signed with the UFC in 2014. Sterling has had a successful run in the UFC, with notable wins against notable fighters, including Cody Stamann, Pedro Munhoz, and Cory Sandhagen. Sterling’s biggest win came against Petr Yan at UFC 259, where he became the UFC Bantamweight Champion via disqualification due to an illegal knee.
Beyond the Octagon: Sterling’s skills are not limited to the Octagon. He has also competed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions, winning against Damien Nitkin at High Rollerz 18 in August 2022. Sterling earned the nickname “The Funk Master” for his unorthodox wrestling style that confuses and overwhelms his opponents. Sterling is also known for his close bond with his teammate Merab Dvalishvili, who fights in the UFC bantamweight division.
Mixed martial arts career of Aljamain Sterling
During his time as a student in Cortland, Aljamain Sterling received an invitation from Jones to train mixed martial arts at his gym in Ithaca, New York. Jones was the owner of The BombSquad, a popular MMA gym in the area. Sterling took Jones up on his offer and began training at The BombSquad. After a few professional fights, Sterling decided to switch training camps and joined the Serra-Longo Fight Team.
In 2009, Sterling began his amateur career in MMA with a submission victory. He went on to compile an impressive 6-1 record as an amateur, with his only loss coming by way of split decision. However, he eventually avenged this loss. Sterling also won the Raging Wolf amateur Bantamweight Championship and the Extreme FC amateur Featherweight Championship during his amateur career.
Sterling started his professional career with a record of 2-0. He then earned a shot at the ROC Bantamweight Championship and emerged victorious by defeating Claudio Ledesma in a closely contested split decision. Although he would not have another bout under the Ring of Combat organization, as he later signed with the Cage Fury Fighting Championships.
Sterling’s debut with CFFC was in a Featherweight bout against Evan Chmieleski. He managed to win the fight with a TKO just two seconds before the first round ended. Sterling’s impressive performance in this bout earned him a shot at the vacant CFFC Bantamweight Championship. In his next fight, he fought Sean Santella and defeated him via unanimous decision, capturing his second professional title in the process. Sterling went on to defend the CFFC Bantamweight Championship on three separate occasions, each time winning via rear naked choke. This impressive run of victories ultimately earned him a chance to compete in the UFC
Aljamain Sterling in Ultimate Fighting Championship
In 2014, Aljamain Sterling was set to make his UFC debut at UFC 170 against Lucas Martins after replacing an injured Bryan Caraway. However, Martins was also injured and was replaced by UFC newcomer Cody Gibson. Sterling emerged victorious in his debut, winning the fight by unanimous decision.
On July 16, 2014, Sterling made his second UFC appearance at UFC Fight Night 45 against Hugo Viana. After controlling the fight for the majority of the match, Sterling landed a flurry of punches from the mount position, causing the referee to wave off the fight late in the third round.
Sterling was originally slated to fight Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Saffiedine on October 4, 2014. Unfortunately, he had to withdraw from the bout and was replaced by Rob Font.
After a quick recovery, Sterling was rebooked to face Frankie Saenz on November 8, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 55. However, Saenz had to withdraw from the fight and was replaced by promotional newcomer Michael Imperato. However, his signing was later rescinded, and Sterling was ultimately pulled out from the event.
In 2015, Sterling was scheduled to face Manny Gamburyan on April 18 at UFC on Fox 15. However, Gamburyan had to pull out of the fight due to injury, and he was replaced by Takeya Mizugaki. Sterling won the fight by submitting Mizugaki in the third round.
Sterling then faced Johnny Eduardo on December 10, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 80, where he won the fight by submission in the second round.
In 2016, Sterling faced Bryan Caraway on May 29, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 88. Although he dominated the first round, Sterling began to tire and eventually lost the fight via split decision.
Sterling was set to fight Raphael Assunção on December 9, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 102. However, he had to withdraw from the fight due to injury, resulting in Assunção being removed from the card.
In 2017, Sterling had a mixed record, starting with a split decision loss to Raphael Assunção on January 28, 2017, at UFC on Fox 23. He then defeated Augusto Mendes via unanimous decision on April 15, 2017, at UFC on Fox 24.
In July 2017, Sterling faced Renan Barão at UFC 214. The fight was initially scheduled as a bantamweight bout, but Barão was not licensed to compete at that weight due to previous weight-cutting issues. The fight went ahead at a catchweight of 140 lbs, and Sterling won by unanimous decision.
Sterling was set to face Rani Yahya on December 9, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 123. Unfortunately, Yahya withdrew from the event due to injury, and he was replaced by Marlon Moraes, who defeated Sterling via first-round knockout.
In 2018, Sterling faced Brett Johns on April 21, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 128 and won by unanimous decision. He then defeated Cody Stamann via submission in the second round on September 8, 2018, at UFC 228.
In 2019, Sterling defeated Jimmie Rivera via unanimous decision on February 17, 2019, at UFC on ESPN 1. He then won another unanimous decision victory against Pedro Munhoz on June 8, 2019, at UFC 238.
In 2020, Sterling fought Cory Sandhagen on June 6, 2020, at UFC 250 in a bantamweight
UFC Bantamweight Championship
In late 2020, Aljamain Sterling was slated to face off against Petr Yan for the UFC Bantamweight Championship on December 12 at UFC 256. However, the bout was removed from the card on November 22 for undisclosed reasons. Fans and analysts alike were disappointed, but the fight was eventually rescheduled for March 6, 2021, at UFC 259.
At the highly anticipated event, Sterling and Yan finally faced off in the octagon. The fight was intense, with both fighters showcasing their skills and trading blows. In the fourth round, Yan landed an illegal knee to the head of Sterling, who was on the ground at the time. The move was deemed intentional by the referee, and Yan was disqualified. This made Sterling the new UFC Bantamweight Champion, and he became the first fighter in UFC history to win a championship by disqualification.
Following his win, Sterling was eager to prove himself as a legitimate champion, and a rematch with Yan was quickly arranged. The two were set to meet on October 30, 2021, at UFC 267, but Sterling had to withdraw from the bout due to neck issues stemming from surgery. The pair was then scheduled to fight at UFC 272 on March 5, 2022, but the bout was pushed back to UFC 273 on April 9.
At UFC 273, Sterling and Yan once again battled it out in a close, hard-fought contest. The fight went the full five rounds, with Sterling defending his title via split decision. While 11 of 18 MMA media outlets scored the bout for Sterling, five scored it as a draw.
Sterling’s next title defense came against T.J. Dillashaw on October 22, 2022, at UFC 280. In a dominant performance, Sterling won the fight via TKO in the second round, marking his first stoppage by strikes in eight years. It was a one-sided affair, with Sterling controlling the pace and Dillashaw unable to mount any significant offense.
With this win, Sterling proved himself to be a formidable champion and a force to be reckoned with in the UFC Bantamweight division. Fans eagerly anticipate his next fight as he continues to defend his title and cement his legacy as one of the greatest fighters in UFC history.
Aljamain Sterling Age.?
Aljamain Sterling is a professional mixed martial artist from the United States who competes in the bantamweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He was born on July 31, 1989, which makes him currently 33 years old. Sterling began his MMA career in 2011 and quickly gained a reputation as a top prospect in the sport. He made his UFC debut in 2014 and has since racked up notable victories over some of the best fighters in the division. As he enters his mid-30s, Sterling remains a top contender in the UFC bantamweight division and continues to strive for a UFC championship belt.
Aljamain Sterling weight and Height.?
he stands at 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm) tall and weighs approximately 135 pounds (61 kg). Sterling has a lean, athletic build with a muscular physique that is typical of elite-level MMA fighters. He is known for his impressive grappling skills and has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which he uses to great effect in his fights. Despite his relatively small stature for a professional fighter, Sterling has proven himself to be a formidable opponent in the UFC bantamweight division and continues to climb the ranks towards a title shot.
Aljamain Sterling wife and family.?
Rebecca Cruz is the wife of Aljamain Sterling. The couple got engaged in September 2019 and tied the knot in October 2020 in a private ceremony in New Jersey. Rebecca Cruz is also involved in combat sports, having trained in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Aljamain Sterling has credited his wife as being a key part of his support system, both inside and outside of the Octagon. Sterling is also close with his family, which includes his parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews. He has spoken publicly about the challenges he faced growing up in a tough neighborhood in Long Island, New York, and how his family and community helped shape his values and work ethic. Despite the demands of his professional fighting career, Sterling remains grounded and connected to his family and loved ones.
Aljamain Sterling Net Worth.?
Aljamain Sterling’s net worth is estimated to be around $2 million. The majority of his income comes from his successful MMA career, which includes earnings from his UFC fights, bonuses, and sponsorship deals. Sterling’s UFC championship status and impressive record have helped to boost his marketability and earning potential, leading to partnerships with major brands in the sports and fitness industries. In addition to his MMA career, Sterling is also an active investor and entrepreneur, with interests in cryptocurrency and real estate. Despite his success, Sterling remains focused on his training and competition, constantly working to improve his skills and maintain his position as one of the top fighters in the UFC bantamweight division.
Aljamain Sterling Records
|Professional Record Breakdown|
|25 matches||22 wins||3 losses|
|Aljamain Sterling Records|
|Win||22–3||T.J. Dillashaw||TKO (punches)||UFC 280||22-Oct-22||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Defended the UFC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||21–3||Petr Yan||Decision (split)||UFC 273||9-Apr-22||Jacksonville, Florida, United States||Defended and unified the UFC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||20–3||Petr Yan||DQ (illegal knee)||UFC 259||6-Mar-21||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Won the UFC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||19–3||Cory Sandhagen||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC 250||6-Jun-20||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||18–3||Pedro Munhoz||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 238||8-Jun-19||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||17–3||Jimmie Rivera||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez||17-Feb-19||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Win||16–3||Cody Stamann||Submission (Suloev stretch)||UFC 228||8-Sep-18||Dallas, Texas, United States|
|Win||15–3||Brett Johns||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Lee||21-Apr-18||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Loss||14–3||Marlon Moraes||KO (knee)||UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Ortega||9-Dec-17||Fresno, California, United States|
|Win||14–2||Renan Barão||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 214||29-Jul-17||Anaheim, California, United States||Catchweight (140 lb) bout.|
|Win||13–2||Augusto Mendes||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Reis||15-Apr-17||Kansas City, Missouri, United States|
|Loss||12–2||Raphael Assunção||Decision (split)||UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña||28-Jan-17||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Loss||12–1||Bryan Caraway||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs. Garbrandt||29-May-16||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||12–0||Johnny Eduardo||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant||10-Dec-15||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||11–0||Takeya Mizugaki||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold||18-Apr-15||Newark, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||10–0||Hugo Viana||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Miller||16-Jul-14||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||9–0||Cody Gibson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 170||22-Feb-14||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||8–0||Joel Roberts||Submission (rear-naked choke)||CFFC 30: Sterling vs. Roberts||2-Nov-13||King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, United States||Defended the CFFC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||7–0||Sidemar Honorio||Submission (rear-naked choke)||CFFC 16: Williams vs. Jacoby||24-Aug-12||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Defended the CFFC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||6–0||Casey Johnson||Submission (rear-naked choke)||CFFC 14: No Mercy||14-Apr-12||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Defended the CFFC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||5–0||Sean Santella||Decision (unanimous)||CFFC 11: Danger Zone!||22-Oct-11||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Return to Bantamweight. Won the CFFC Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||4–0||Evan Chmielski||TKO (punches)||CFFC 10: Black Eye||23-Jul-11||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Featherweight debut.|
|Win||3–0||Claudio Ledesma||Decision (split)||Ring of Combat 36||17-Jun-11||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Won the Ring of Combat Bantamweight Championship.|
|Win||2–0||Harley Leimbach||Submission (rear-naked choke)||EFC: Bragging Rights 2||21-May-11||Erie, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||1–0||Sergio da Silva||Decision (unanimous)||UCC 4: Supremacy||22-Apr-11||Morristown, New Jersey, United States|